Going to school is expensive, in more ways than one. Being a students costs a lot of time, money and energy. You have to sacrifice a lot of other areas of your life, in order to fully balance being a student, with everything else.
Affording to be a student does not simply mean how to pay for the classes or program you are in, but to succeed in your studies.
You must be organized; organization is essential in order to be a strong student.
As we grow older, our daily responsibilities tend to grow along with us. We are required to work and this is usually the largest chunk of our day and week. We are required to run a household and this seems to always take more time than anticipated. Then there are the unanticipated life events which can take up hours or days of your life, which you were not mentally prepared for. Also, it can be nice to have a social life, somewhere in the middle of everything else.
Money is always a problem because school is expensive. Tuition fees, student fees, parking, gas, coffee, it all adds up.
Going to school must be seen as a long-term investment and short-term sacrifices need to be made.
Financially, I am fortunate to have a benefits package which allows tuition remission, where a certain number of credits each year are remitted by the institution I work for, so going to school for me is actually pretty affordable.
When I decided I wanted to go back to school, I knew the cost would be a problem, so I was creative.
Even though I was educated as a high school teacher, I knew what I had learned was a transferable skill, so I transferred and showed my skills in a post secondary environment and have been fairly successful, utilizing my teaching skills in a multitude of other professions.
Paying for school might not be working at a university for you. Maybe it is about being more creative with your budget and learning how to stretch a dollar further. Maybe it is about understanding that though school is expensive, it can be done, so sit down with your bank statements and figure out a plan.
Time-wise, I work where I go to school, so the commute for me is pretty seamless. I end up spending a lot of time on campus, but unlike some of my colleagues in class, I am not spending an extra amount of time coming to campus after work.
Maybe for you the time commitment of attending classes is not feasible. Perhaps researching online courses is a better option for your life. Sometimes it is about asking your people for some more support. Is there someone who can lend a hand while you go back to school?
You will be surprised at how supportive many people can be, if you simply take the plunge and ask for help. We all assume the answer will be no, but that just makes us a bunch of asses; ask, the worst thing they can say is no.
The time to go to class and the cost of classes, to me, is not the hardest part of being a student. Being a true student is actually enjoying the act of learning and not slogging through something for some credential. I have done the slogging part of learning already and now I am loving learning.
I am so grateful for the opportunities I have to be able to call myself a student, but I also respect the personal dedication and sacrifice.
I am dedicated to learning everyday, so there is no question of if I am going to study, it is simply when am I going to study today?
To me, this is the secret, whether I do my studies for ten minutes, one hour or five hours, I do work every day and that’s what makes it manageable. Maybe someone else can pull a twelve hour all-nighter and still pass with flying colours, but I am here to enjoy the ride and not suffer and struggle through.
If going to school is important to you, you can figure out the time, money and energy to go to school. It is possible, regardless of your own, unique circumstance. The hardest part of the journey is mentally proving to yourself your own validity. You have to believe you deserve to achieve this goal, first and foremost.
Be creative. If you want to do something, you can most likely accomplish it, but don’t see the world, yourself or opportunities as black and white. So much of life falls into the grey area. Maybe there is a job, which will not only support but encourage you to go to school. Maybe downsizing and spending less money will allow for your finances to be utilized in ways to align your goals with your day to day life. Or maybe it is facing the fear of actually going after what you want, regardless of what others think about it.